The crossroads between cancer stem cells and aging

Sara Santos Franco, Hadas Raveh-Amit, Julianna Kobolák, Mohammed H. Alqahtani, Ali Mobasheri, András Dinnyes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

6 Citations (Scopus)


The cancer stem cell (CSC) hypothesis suggests that only a subpopulation of cells within a tumour is responsible for the initiation and progression of neoplasia. The original and best evidence for the existence of CSCs came from advances in the field of haematological malignancies. Thus far, putative CSCs have been isolated from various solid and non-solid tumours and shown to possess self-renewal, differentiation, and cancer regeneration properties. Although research in the field is progressing extremely fast, proof of concept for the CSC hypothesis is still lacking and key questions remain unanswered, e.g. the cell of origin for these cells. Nevertheless, it is undisputed that neoplastic transformation is associated with genetic and epigenetic alterations of normal cells, and a better understanding of these complex processes is of utmost importance for developing new anti-cancer therapies. In the present review, we discuss the CSC hypothesis with special emphasis on age-associated alterations that govern carcinogenesis, at least in some types of tumours. We present evidence from the scientific literature for age-related genetic and epigenetic alterations leading to cancer and discuss the main challenges in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberS1
JournalBMC cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2015



  • Aging
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Malignant transformation
  • Stem cells
  • Tumorigenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Franco, S. S., Raveh-Amit, H., Kobolák, J., Alqahtani, M. H., Mobasheri, A., & Dinnyes, A. (2015). The crossroads between cancer stem cells and aging. BMC cancer, 15(1), [S1].